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CDC seeks public feedback on updated guidelines for opioid prescribing


April 11 is deadline for submitting comments

Physicians and others wanting to comment on the proposed updates to the federal opioid prescribing guidelines have only five more days to do so.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, which has been developing the update, has an April 11 deadline for public input. Comments can be submitted at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/02/10/2022-02802/proposed-2022-cdc-clinical-practice-guideline-for-prescribing-opioids.

“This comment period provides another critical opportunity for diverse audiences to offer their perspective on the draft clinical practice guideline,” Christopher M. Jones, PharmD., acting director of the injury prevention and control center said in a statement on the CDC’s website. “The ultimate goal of this clinical practice guideline is to help people set and achieve their personal goals to reduce their pain and improve their function and quality of life. Getting feedback from the public is essential to achieving this goal.”

The CDC issued its “Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain” in 2016 following a 16-year period which saw more than 165,000 Americans die from opioid-related overdoses. It covered topics such as “Determining When to Initiate or Continue Opioids for Chronic Pain,”“Opioid Selection, Dosage, Duration, Follow-Up, and Discontinuation,” and Assessing Risks and Harms of Opioid Use.”

In the following years opioid prescribing declined substantially, but doctors increasingly took the guideline to mean they shouldn’t prescribe opioids at all, leading some people with severe chronic pain to begin using heroin and synthetic drugs such as fentanyl.

In soliciting comments for the updated guideline, the CDC calls the guideline recommendations voluntary and “are not intended to be applied as inflexible standards of care or replace clinical judgment or individualized, patient-centered care.”

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